Laboratories have high air exchange requirements and energy demanding equipment make research buildings on Penn's campus the highest producers of carbon emissions (37% of total campus emissions). A Green Fund grant supports Penn’s participation in “Freezer Week,” a competition created by the University of California - Davis to challenge colleges across the country to reduce energy use in research labs. The Freezer Week competition will be based on points gained from participation and completion of items in various surveys. Labs can take part in various activities during Freezer Week: Chill Up (raise freezer temperatures by 10 degrees), Freezer Clean Out, Equipment Retirement/Recycling, and Room Temperature Storage. Incentives and awards will be given to winning and participating labs.
As of June 2011, 13 labs have participated in the competition by signing up and submitting current freezer use data. Most labs have performed maintenance, recycling, or committing to chill up or unplug a freezer. This project has motivated the start of a large equipment recycling program for the School of Medicine.
Heidi Travis, Facilities and Equipment Manager, Perelman School of Medicine